My First Trail Ride
Brandy Gutkowski


"Mom, are we there yet?" I hollered from the back.  "No." she said.  Finally, after  what seemed like days, but was actually hours, we arrived at Barnwell Mountain.  When we arrived it was dark, but I knew that the next day I would have the time of my life.  And sure enough, I had a blast. 

In the morning, we got up and unloaded our 4-wheelers.  Mom made us practice turns and stuff before she would take us on a trail.  Finally, she took me on a trail while my sister was still practicing stopping.  My first time on the trail I had some trouble getting up this one hill with ruts and rocks, but the second go round I went full throttle and up the hill in one try.  The first time my sister went, she took a long time.  Thank goodness I went first.  After about an hour or so, we started to get hungry.  So we grabbed some lunch.

Then came the fun part.  JEEP TRAILS!  But the big surprise was that they were all, and I mean all, 4 Diamond trails.  4 Diamond trails are really rough, with steep drops, deep ruts and well, just plan rough and dirty.  You need aggressive tires, at least 31", 33" or larger is recommended.  Your experience should include:  steep hill climbing, traversing ledges and steps, crossing mud holes, winching, log crossings, driving through deep water, over large rocks, etc.  Always run these trails with club members and experienced folks.  The first trail we did was Saturday Night Live.  As we sat at the top of the hill looking down on at least 4 ledges, in the back of my mind I was thinking "Holey Moley".  But after those 4 ledges, every thing was going good until we climbed a rocky hill.  When we got to the top we turned onto L&B Turnpike, which had a creek crossing about a foot deep.  I could feel the tires hit the water.  Now Sunday Cruise, that was something!  Talk about hills with ruts and rocks.  At one point, the trail had a big hole right in the middle.  John, my step-dad, wanted me to get out and take pictures.  My favorite one is where the front right tire is about 4 feet in the air.  

At the end of the trail, there was a hill that everybody had trouble with, but a guy who was with us told John how to get up without any problems at all.  But then Wile E. Coyote was a climb I'll never forget.  With loose rocks and sand and ledges, boy was that one hill climb!  Afterward, we told mom all about it and she said she thought when we came up Wile E. Coyote that we were coming up Air Strip.   

That is one day I'll never and I mean never forget, because that was even better than any roller coaster on Earth!  

- Brandy Gutkowski